Dangdang.com: The Amazon.com of China

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR099
Case Length : 8 Pages
Period : 1997 - 2004
Organization : Dangdang.com
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : China
Industry : Online Retailing

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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Background Note Contd...

Most stores are so poorly stocked.... And I felt readers in China were so poorly served, and I wanted to do something about it.... And I think the Internet is the best thing."4

After studying the model of Amazon.com, Guoqing and Yu, realized that the Website owed its success largely to its vast database of titles. As there was no nationwide database of titles available in China, in 1997, the couple started a company called 'Science and Culture Book Infotech.' Guoqing and Yu became the Co-president of the company. The company created a database 'China Books in Print' (CNBIP) along the lines of the databases available in England and America. Guoqing and Yu contacted publishers in China and maintained good relations with them to get updated information on recently published books (During the late 1990s, the Internet was not very popular in China, so the duo thought that if Internet did not become popular in the future, then they could start a professional database company).

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It took the couple almost two years to make a comprehensive database of 200,000 book titles published in China.

In November 1999, the couple started a Website. They wanted to name it in such a way that it could be easily pronounced, remembered, and typed. They named the Website dangdang which is derived from the Chinese adjective xiangdangdang, meaning resounding and worthy. Commented Yu, "It's also the sound of a cash register opening and closing: dang-dang!"5 Dangdang got a good initial response from Internet users. In the first two months of its operations, it received 30,000 orders, which generated sales above CNY 1 million. By 2000, dangdang became the largest online as well as offline bookstore in China with 200,000 titles. It received orders from major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and also from remote villages in Tibet and Xinjiang...

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4] http://www.fas.org/news/china

5] The Clang of a Virtual Cash Register: Dangdang.com, Beijing Scene, Volume 7, Issue 6, February 25 - March 2, 2000.

 

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